Bad Boy Allure

bad-boy-clubI don’t understand the girls here. They say they want men to be emotionally responsive and sensitive, that they want us to be good listeners and really caring. So I’ve become all that. I’m a really good friend, a good listener, sensitive, and all the rest. And they all want to go out with these macho assholes! I don’t get it! What do women want?

Sociologist, Michael Kimmel, is an expert on men and masculinity. He says this is the question guys ask him most often.

Turns out, certain negative traits are associated with a rise in both men’s and women’s popularity. Remember the “mean girls” who top the high school pecking order?

Luckily, what makes “bad boys” and “mean girls” appealing isn’t their badass-ness. Good guys and gals can actually copy a few benign “bad boy” traits and become both desired and pleasant.

Social research, as reported by The Good Men Project, finds that personality traits named the “dark triad” are correlated with physical attractiveness.

  1. Narcissism – defined as an overly developed sense of self-worth and entitlement matched with intense egotism.
  2. Machiavellianism – defined by the person’s reliance on manipulation to get what he or she desires without regard to others as well as a cynical dismissal of morality as “for other people.”
  3. Psychopathy – a loaded term; it doesn’t refer to a violent maniac, but to someone defined by reckless thrill-seeking, selfishness, lack of remorse and affect and a certain level of superficial charm.

makeup_differenceTurns out, narcissism is most associated with being found beautiful. But it’s not the narcissism that matters. Rather, ego-centric folks just carry themselves with confidence and adorn themselves in the latest styles.

Researchers took pictures of a few “dark triad” types along with pics of a few “normal” folks. In one picture everyone dressed in their usual clothing. In another everyone wore plain clothing and hairstyles, and no makeup.

Narcissists were deemed more attractive than others when dressed in their usual fashionable ways. But in the “plain” photos they seemed no more alluring than anyone else.

Looks like all you need is confidence and decent fashion sense – or someone who can help you with fashion sense — to come across as more appealing. And in fact, you’ll have an edge over the bad boys and mean girls because the “Dark Triad” make great first impressions but most people run away once they get to know them.

Popular Posts on BroadBlogs
Women Make Men Dumber?
Should Women Play Hard To Get?
Should Men Play Hard To Get?

About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on April 8, 2013, in body image, men, psychology, relationships, sex and sexuality, women and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 52 Comments.

  1. I have to agree with the “dark triad” of personality traits. It’s interesting but thinking on the topic now, I definitely think that manipulative and narcissistic people are some of the more successful people that I know. I think that this can also come into play when it comes to finding them attractive because at first impression they can manipulate people into thinking they’re actually a nice and confident person but later on down the line most people will realize they’re actually manipulative narcissists.

  2. I’d have to agree with some comments listed about the “dark triad” of personality traits. Although all set with negative connotation, narcissism, manipulation, and pyschopathic tendencies described as you have them above often describe some of the most successful people on the planet. Am I crazy to think that people with the dark triad are seemingly interchangeable with those who are beautiful, persuasive, and clever? These traits are also often what take men and women to the top of the career food chains. Mastering your subject is never enough these days, and it seems as if to have the upper hand, these three traits feel like a necessity.

    To dovetail, these traits are also a source of envy for others. The vying for them could cause them to be more highlighted by these behavioral psychologists studying the habits of the bad boy and the attraction women have to them. The charisma and confidence that gets the “bad boy” what he wants might be what other men/women are actually after. Like you said, once you get to know them, it’s not a surprise if you might feel like you’d want to run off. Once you’ve gotten past the facade of charm, there might not be much more to those who are true to the dark triad.

  3. I definitely get that egoism, manipulativeness, and being unmerciful can be attractive to some people. As you mentioned, these people are often those popular in high school, but they’re often the most successful in life if I’m not mistaken, working some of the top positions which at times can have unethical requirements taken on by those in top roles. There have been many books written on the subject, in western philosophy, in modern books like “Ass Holes Finish First”, not to mention just about every aspect of entertainment. If one were to look into it, they’d find people already making high salaries, in jobs considered to be of the highest ethical standard, committing the most outrageous frauds, and robbing people of millions. So that said associating attractiveness, and seemingly questionable qualities is not hard to believe.

    It also seems to me that, the “male” hormones seem to be along the lines of these qualities as well, and of course both sexes have them. I’m sure women’s hormones are no different, I just have a little harder time grasping that. We must have evolved to have a competitive edge in life so again it comes as no surprise.

    I do think that not only are these qualities attractive to some, but they also kind of can in reality be fairly beneficial in day to day life. If someone steps on your toes, in front of someone that relies on you in some way, that ego is going to come in handy in asserting yourself. When people manipulate, well then one better have the skills to do so back, to a greater or lesser degree, or they could lose any extent of what they’ve accomplished, and that’s no small thing. When someone takes aim at you in the worst way, mercilessness might come in handy, at least somewhere within the realm of remaining civil as much as possible (but really not remaining civil is not an option).

    • Humans seem to have the potential for both competitiveness and cooperation. Which of those two are more fully nurtured depends on the society.

      I’ve seen studies showing that leaders are often, at first, among the most empathetic and cooperative — which helps them move up the ladder, but once they become leaders often lose their empathy and become more like jerks. I’m not sure why but other studies have shown that the richer someone is the last empathy they tend to have. Empathy is the ability to get inside another person’s perspective and that might be a more necessary skill for people who are lower down the ladder.

  4. Yahaira Arreola-Rodriguez

    There are several reasons why women tend to go towards the bay boys. A big reason for this is lack of attention. Women feel that there is no one else that would pay any other attention to them so they desperately find someone fast who at least pays a tiny amount of attention to them. Also, perhaps they never gotten the amount of attention from their fathers therefore they find some guy who treats them not any better than their fathers simply to fill in the void of having a male role model in their life. In women’s minds who lack having a father or lack attention think that a nice man who hardly ever takes charge in the relationship and tries to treat them for whom they are and an actual human being is a complete “woose”. Most girls like to find guys who remind them of their fathers since their father is their role model which is not always a good thing. Women who have had a rough relationship with their fathers believe that there is no good guy out there and simply get with the bad guy.

  5. This is really cheerful essay. I would like to say I am not very appealing and I have not much sense about fashion and hairstyle. I just posted a comment about how I feel inferior in front of beautiful girls this morning, and here I read that they just have a higher conceptions for fashion. Cheerful! Well, I would try to gain good taste on fashion and improve my appearance without lower self-esteem. And I think another thing important is that I should also learn how to appreciate and enjoy the beauty of others instead of hurting myself. Also, I quite agree that even though people are likely to be attracted by the beautiful guys, but if they are essentially mean girls or bad boys, people would notice later and keep distance with them.

  6. Absolutely Doctor Georgia, I wasn’t told this when I was younger. It had taken me to reach my quadragenian days to learn that confidence opens the floodgates.
    Come on girls CONFIDENCE is only ten character [trisyllabolic] word. Just say so.
    Whilst I’m here, is there a way to contact you personally (via BroadBlogs). Because I have an idea for you (concerning rape prevention).

  7. What it looks to me to be like a woman says that she “wants a house” so the man shows around many houses and she comes out with many irrational rationales as to why she doesn’t want any of them. When in reality what it ACTUALLY means is that she wants a plot of UNBUILT land on which she can BUILD a house on. Not because it’s cheaper, she may want the pride in her creation.
    Similarly there some single men (who has no kids) who wont date single mums. Many of the times the reason for this is because he wants create his OWN family from scratch rather than have a “ready made” family.. Chances are that won’t say that wont say that he want a good mother. Then turn down single mothers left, right, sides and centre. He would most likely say “I want to meet and good woman and ultimately have kids with her so can have a good family”. Which more straight and direct to the point.
    Looking at the comments posted [by women] on this link that she wants to be we with a “bad boy” on the belief that she can change him.[by loving him more]. The good man is already that, thus, theres no “modifications” to made. Then they state how the good men are “boring” and “lifeless”. And the bad men are “exciting” and “interesting”.. Why don’t women say this? This saves a lot of frustration and confusion (honestly).
    Coração’s brilliant answer to this question in Yaho Answers explains the dynamics of this strange paradox in detail
    I wonder what causes this change of attitude in women later in life..

  8. Pedro Contreras

    i know a lot of girls that are not attracted to bad boys and they want someone they can get a long with and someone who will always be there for them. i think girls attracted to bad bays is like a highschool myth or something a lot of guys try to act dumb and tough just to try get a girls attention. but i do agree with you when you said that they are attracted to confident guys because that is one of the most attractive characteristic someone could have

    • I also think it’s largely mythical. A lot of times girls end up with abusive men who were extremely charming first. They don’t start acting abusive until after the woman has fallen in love with him. But then it is assumed that she is attracted to his bad-ass ways.

      Some women are attracted to “bad boys” and I think it just gets the attention more than the women who aren’t.

  9. This was an interesting post and I agree with it. Being confident is one of the most attractive characteristics a person can carry. I think us girls being attracted to “bad boys” is a phase of curiosity and thrill. Who doesn’t want to get to know someone who is thrill-seeking, fun and selfish? It makes us curious to get to know why that person is that way and such. I think guys should become sensitive and a good listener once they feel like they are in a serious relationship because it’s special to share a deep conversation with your partner rather than a friend of stranger, but that doesn’t mean they should be assholes all the time. I think once girls become more mature, they will realize that a “bad boy” is something they don’t need.

  10. I once read an article for men about how to be attractive. The first thing stated was to have confidence, and the second one is ambition. This matches with the ‘bad boy allure’ article above. I think what really attracts girls are not the douchy look and attitude, instead, it’s how confident a guy appears in public. Some guy have the best body shape and a good looking face but still are not as attractive as the others. The most attractive guys are not the buff ones, in fact, you don’t need to be so concerned about your look at all. all they need is to be able to carry themselves with confidence. In order to gain confidence, first you have to love yourself, which is called narcism.

  11. Recently I was introduced to a few “questionable studies” conducted a while back, the Stanford Prison Experiment (SPE) and the Milgram study. Both studies put seeming normal persons into extreme situations and that produced intriguing results. I will add a general link at the bottom that lists the top 10 unethical physiological studies and both are listed there so you can check them out and do further research if you choose. In short; the SPE screened and tested numerous college students and put them into a mock prison setting, some being the guards and some being the prisoners. The individual that assumed the roles as guards became very abusive while the prisoners became very submissive. Several of the students acting as the prisoners had to be released early and the study was halted after 5 days (it was to go 12 days). Some of the results from the SPE talked about how some of the guards had displayed narcissism and machiavellianism changes. During the Milgram study several persons had been told that they would be instructing a student and if the student failed to answer the question correctly they would electrically shock the student. The voltage would increase as the number with the number of incorrect answers. It was believed that most of the “teachers” would stop around the 150 volt level but the study showed that only 14 of the 40 stopped before administering a 450 volt shock. Most of the “teachers” voiced concern and questioned the continuation of the exercise and as mention above several did stop early but none of them when to check on the “student”. One of the men that did stop, did so because he felt he was being played, that the “student” was actually part of the game. This individual had survived WWII and had been harassed by the FBI because he had been a leader in a pro-communist group. It is believed that in his case, that his narcissism was “healthy” as it resulted in a heightened awareness of games and manipulation. Both experiments where later mentioned in a book that talked about the danger lurking in human natures dark side. During my life I have experience sustained fire-fights, IEDs, suicide attacks, indirect fire attacks, human crisis and provided assistance during natural disasters. Not only have I done certain things during those situation but have observed the actions of others. In the face of these challenges some resort to the bad side of the dark triad and some seem to resort to the good side of the dark triad. So back to my original thought; that the dark triad is there but in general we suppress it or control it but given the right situation it could come out if you like it or not. The question is, do you use it to control others or to control a situation?

    • I suspect that some people suppress the dark triad, some people don’t, and some people don’t even have the dark triad. Just because you suppress it, it doesn’t mean that everyone else does, too.

      Also, neither of these studies have anything to do with the dark triad, as defined. See the definition above again.

      Stanley Milgram’s experiment was more about obedience to authority. People didn’t necessarily want to have to hurt others, they just did so because they were told to. They felt like they had no choice. Many found pulling the lever excruciating. And 1/3 of them were strong enough to refuse obedience.

      And while the prison experiment brought out the dark side of some people, it wasn’t the dark triad. And it was hardly an experiment involving a large population of people — a few white Stanford guys who self-selected to do a prison experiment isn’t everyone. I can’t imagine wanting to behave the way the “guards” behaved. I suppose you will think I’m just suppressing it, but I just can’t imagine it.

  12. Guilherme Paludeti

    This is kind of an interesting topic because us as men are always talking about why women love the bad boys? Why women love being mistreated and even disrespected? Although this is not true for all women, there are a decent amount of them who could be considered under this category,and I as a male kind of disagree with this post because although confidence is key, you have to have the edge,that extra something which is the “bad boy” image.But most importantly you have to find a way to be yourself, and next to that you have to be confidence, Its kind of like selling a car…if you don’t sound confident about the car the buyers aren’t going to want to buy it,but if you make the car seem a lot more interesting and speak highly of it the buyers will be more interested.

  13. I have a few friends who are attracted to the “Bad Boy Bikers”. One is way more than the others. We ride motorcycles as a big group and first of all I am not saying Bikers are all bad boys, but we have our share in the group! Whenever a newer rider comes along we know she is going to be attracted to him just by the way he looks! Leathers, big bike and just an all around tough looking guy. If we know stuff about him beforehand we will tell her “he is no good, or don’t go after this one”. We are her friends being open to her and knowing she is going to get hurt in the end. I think she doesn’t seem to mind. It always ends up he too is looking for new conquests and enjoys his “charm” of being tied into the Bad Boy image. I have seen it happen a bunch of times. She tells me she doesn’t really know why she finds herself attracted to them. I was always curious. (I want to also say that all guys who look the part of Bad Boys are not bad guys at heart.) I think what the woman is looking for is a tough guy on the outside, your protector when needed, but a kind, sweet soul when you are alone. Sometimes I think a woman thinks they will be the one to change this guy. An example comes to mind when i think of Jesse James and Sandra Bullock. One of the most note worthy good girl, bad boy allure. The “Bad Boys” I know personally like the fact they are considered that way, it is sort of an honor among them?!

  14. It is true and I have met a lot of what seem to be meek people and these traits may seem foreign to you but my life path has exposed me to some very extreme situations and people who have done some very extreme things. I have spent a great deal of time trying to understand these people and learning why they did the things they had done. I have had some very unigue experiences which have afforded me opportunities to see people in a different light. I do agree with what many of the other mentioned in their posts and know my experiences are limited, but I also feel comfortable with sharing (some of) my experiences even if they don’t always seem to be common or normal.

  15. Nataliya Naumova

    I think it is an interesting and important topic since we see in the movies or in comics this type of behavior, when girls are more attracted by bad guys and the same with boys, who are attracted by beautiful, but usually mean girls more than by “usual” people. I understand guys’ concern about “what do women really want from me: to be bad or to be sensitive?” because I got some sort of the same experience and asked myself this question, what do I want from my boyfriend.
    When I was sixteen I got two boyfriends, they were totally opposite to each other. One was in good relationships with his family/teachers/classmates, he loved listening me and taking me to a walk, and, what was the most important thing, he appreciated and respected me. He never took me for granted. He was sensitive enough to understand my “girl’s concerns.” Another guy was not so. He behaved in awful way trying to manipulate me. When the moment to choose one of them came, I chose the bad one. But I did not let him take for granted, I didn’t want to be one of many. So, we broke up pretty soon.
    After this I questioned myself “why I didn’t choose the right one guy?” And the answer is that he was not look confident enough because he was sensitive and soft(he never shouted at others, even when they tried to offended him.)
    It is true that people run away from real “mean girls” and “bad guys”, when they-people become closer to them-“mean/bad girls/boys.” I think it is because we need smart, beautiful, confident, and successful partner. From me perspective, it means that you need just not to “overuse” narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy. Don’t accumulate this things, use them just as some tools. For example, instead of being selfish ego-centric person, just be confident.
    I am not sure that my point is clear. I just trying to say that “the gold middle” is demanded in society. People will run away from a one who is a truly Machiavellianist, but they will treat the one as a successful person, if he/she will get what he/she want without getting too far.
    Thus, people who do not get too far with “dark triad” are in favor and demanded by others.

  16. Amy (Hojung) Park

    I would like to share my explanations regarding why we are attracted to bad boys and mean girls. Since people unconsciously try to figure out reasons of things, we probably want to know why they are mean or behave like that. It is like, “oh, he (or she) cares only about himself, he must have some good reasons to be such a narcissist.” It is more interesting when people look like they have complicated or secret stories. However, this phase that people are attracted to so called narcissist goes away. In my opinion, after going through several experiences with those, people can figure out that they are just born in that way and that the initial attribution about them were wrong.

  17. Do you enjoy Halloween? If so, what have you dressed up as and how did you act? Do we like the idea of being something else for a while, and when doing so do we get a pass on our actions? As I looked at the “dark triad” I thought that everyone has these traits in a large degree but tend to suppress it for various reasons. Do the “pretty people” or the “bad boys” have more of a problem in coming to terms with what they really are so they spend more time being what they think other people like them to be? One Halloween I dressed up as a viking, I drank lots of beer, swore a lot, puffed my chest out and carried women over my shoulder because that is what vikings do, but the next day I was back to being myself…or was I? Maybe its something different or new, the “hot” popular girl who is always wearing the right clothing with perfect makeup and hair is something that is viewed as unobtainable by most. The “bad boy” with the I don’t give a “f” attitude and I wear whatever I want, is dangerous and scary. Now we look at them and does the dark triad in us come-out, do we believe that we can show that beautiful girl a thing or two, do we think we can push the limits of the “bad boy.” Does it become a challenge or something new to experience. Ultimately, I believe, we are who we are for many reason and the “dark triad” falls into a more basic instinct which most of keep in check most of the time, I mean I can’t be a viking everyday… We as a people have evolved to be what we are, not that spending all that time to make yourself beautiful or dark is wrong, its just a persona that an individual chooses to be. I generally try to spend less time judging a person or stereotyping them and more time trying to understand them and judging myself.

    • Actually, I think a lot of people aren’t dark triad at all. The traits seem foreign to me. And haven’t you met a lot of meek people who don’t seem at all like this? It’s common for people to project whatever traits they have onto everyone else and assume that everyone is the same way that they are.

      Also, consider the difference between a stereotype and a social pattern. A social pattern is something that actually exists in the world, a stereotype isn’t.

  18. Fatemeh Naghiniarami

    I’m not agree nor disagree that men/women are attracted more to narcissists. I believe that first impression plays very important role to get attracted to a man/woman.
    eventhough, thats not all. Actually, most men and women want to be with someone who is so confident with a stable personality. Narcissists or bad boys/mean girls show a very strong outlook of their personality which is so attractive to their partner in first interactions. In my personal idea, guys who are attracted to mean girls mostly looking for casuall dating because hot girls are better in bed and they like to be seen with that hot girls but for serious relationship men prefer to date sweet, kind and in a same time confident women. I as awoman attrcted to a strong and confident man. For some people, it might mean that a woman like me wants to be with an a**hole but thats not true. women like carring, listener, sensitive men as well as a strong and confident men. Having a relationship with someone who is ego-centric doesnt last for ever. Relity is a proof of that!

    • Thanks. And not to worry, it’s not so much that people are attracted to narcissists as that narcissists tend to know how to make themselves look good, and people are attracted to people who look good.

  19. This is a very interesting blog because it talks about the mystery of most common thing in real life: People who have a bad personality can be more attractive than ordinary people.

    In my opinion, it’s because mean people are usually obsessed with themselves. They tend to wear a lot of make-up, dress up and buy expensive items. They think (and it might be true that) people consider them fashionable because of their appeal. It creates a boost in their self-esteem. People think they are confident and they love them for that. I also think it doesn’t matter if they are mean or not, as long as they look nice and cute, than people will admire and desire them.

  20. Okay, so how do you make sense of men finding “mean girls” more attractive than those who aren’t?

    Most people care more about looks than anything else when it comes to sexual attraction, and you think that has nothing to do with it?

    I’d like to know how your thoughts relate to the article.

    Also, different women feel different ways. Guys who are great listeners have always had great appeal for me. For me, that’s a huge draw. Now, if I find them physically attractive too, it’s perfect.

  21. Mikaela Hansen

    In response to the quote at the very top, I think it’s important for guys to not become the person who is a listener, gives great advice, and is emotionally responsive, etc. right away because then they will most likely just be looked at as a friend (or at least that’s how I, myself would view it). I do think it’s true that young women are attracted to the “bad boys.” We like the carelessness, the fun-type, and most of all the confidence. If I was a guy, I would show those characteristics more vividly when trying to attract a girl. Once the couple knows each other better or gets deeper into the relationship is when I think the girl would want someone who is a best friend (listener, sensitive, etc.) along with being their lover. However, I do think there is a difference between a bad boy and a straight up asshole. After high school I think most girls grow out of wanting someone who is a complete asshole, so I think it’s important for guys to know the difference!

  22. Ricky Melendrez

    I love this simple little blog entry, it touches base on so many different issues in regards to interpersonal communication, that it should be fun to talk about. First off, the initial question; why don’t women like me, although I try to be like them? Consider this, women in a relationship are made conscious of the differential gender roles that exist while being emerged in Babylonian society (the contemporary geographically coexistent culture), ergo in contrast with solitude, when the same women is united in company with her partner, she is forced to notice and consider the biases that the male gender role implicates. By the creation of duality itself, women will notice the men when they are in sync with the prominent cultural-specific gender stereotypes. It is this sense of duality that creates a necessity to define and describe different gender and social roles, which exist not at all but in the mind of the purveyor of the concept of duality.
    So, when men make efforts to portray more feminine qualities, women have no problem noticing it. And I’m not saying that women don’t like or appreciate it, but the same concept of duality limits the likelihood that the efforts of the male acting female, will be appreciated. When a female notices a male portraying only female characteristics and turning into a “softie”, the same culture-inflicted sense of duality which feeds the alpha bias, creates the awareness that the male is out of synchronization in the relationship, the male is not established in the cultural norms, and therefore, the relationship is not working out.
    Women will associate these emotions with thoughts that there lacks a challenge in the relationship, that the man is presenting himself on a dish for her to devour, and it scares her, makes her feel less invested.
    So it is not the men acting feminine that isn’t working in the contemporary. It’s the fact that cultural bias on genders is so prevalent, that women wouldn’t take the chance to reciprocate the emotions given the “socially-awkward” relationship where the male is exhibiting the traits he’d like to get out of his partner. For her, the relationship isn’t working until both partners become established in the gender roles, and they will seek out males that exhibit the traits clearly. So strong are the chains of Babylon.

  23. Men usually say ” I don’t get what women want.” and I can understand them. I partially agree that “dark triad” brings attractiveness on men. For example, Narcissism shows men’s confidence so women tend to follow them. Also selfishness cause same result, show their confidence. In my opinion, men who have self-considence and who have high-selfesteem sometimes attract me, but too much Narcissism makes me annoyed and tired of treating them as a “high-class person”. In addition, I believe most of women who find attractiveness on such men will be young teenagers because in that stage, what they most care about or are interested in is appearance. So men who are macho, physically attractive or good-looking such as men who are mentioned in the article tend to be liked by teenage girls.

  24. That has been a question that even women ask themselves, I believe that there are many variables that come in to play, culture I belive is one of those variables because it is a learned behavior. With culture you learn beliefs, values, attitudes, meanings, hierachies, religion… and so on. Most of the stuff we learn due to our culture we are unaware of, like our accents, languange even the way we communicate, till we meet somebody who lives in a diffrent culture. which brings me back to my main point that part of the reason women say they want a sensative guy yet goes for the macho asshole is because women are all taught through storys, media even sports that men are attractive when they are macho add on to the asshole tendicies aka “dark triad” espically psychopathy and narcissism and you have this allure that makes them seem so attractive and the sensative guy is put in the back of the mind for later. But like I said there are many variables I just believe culture is one of them.

  25. I’ve never heard about “dark triad”until this post. I personally agree that confidence can bring a huge difference to people’s appearance. The person with Narcissism who has more confidence so they dressed themselves with much different than others, sometimes not even consider as “fashionable.” But somehow, they always can catch up people’s attention. This give me a thought that it is important to have confidence rather than dress up nicely.

  26. The post reminds me of the popular audience’s preference for the antagonists from movies or TV series–characters showing their dark side seems to have more appeal to people. Evilness becomes a requisite of attractiveness, just similar to the cases of bad boys and mean girls. However, being “bad” is not all about “dark traits”. Actually, people tend to more allured by dark triads possibly because people like the instability and the feeling of taking risks associated with what Narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy bring up. And it may also because that “bad” people is always a group of small number while comparing to them “normal” people are always the majority. Dating with the minority could mean some sort of standing out and being special.
    However, it is so true that confidence makes the gut.

  27. I agree, girls and guys are not attracted to “bad” boys or “bad” girls but more in first impressions ,attitudes, and appearance playing a key role .The simple fact that someone has confidence in themselves they instantly become like a magnet attracting people , because they are not afraid to speak their minds ,and meeting their goals . Taking for example a group project when choosing the group members people want those that perform better in other words, people who are confident because those are the people who will get the message through and the audience will pay attention to. In the end everyone wants to be with someone who takes pride in who they are and is not afriad to say it or show it .

  28. Rohan 7 Things

    Great post and definitely true! Over the top confidence can come from being a self obsessed narcissist, of through cultivating a genuine love and acceptance of ourselves. A real confidence in our genuine self. Oh yeah and a few nice clothes, a shower and some grooming always go a long way 🙂

    And this is so true: “And in fact, you’ll have an edge over the bad boys and mean girls because the “Dark Triad” make great first impressions but most people run away once they get to know them.”

    These “Bad boys/girls” often go through a lot of superficial relationships as, one by one, people realise they are a**holes lol 🙂

    Thanks for sharing!


  29. I personally believe that humans, men and women are born with animal instincts therefore women are naturally more attracted to alpha-males. (Meaning the more masculine, malevolent man)
    Confidence plays a major roll in the natural nature of us all, no women wants a man they can step all over and not feel protected by. Confident is looked at as a form of dominants, leading back to my comment of the alpha-males. Men like confident women as well, being a man myself I like the more independent, I can do it on my own type of lady in my life. I like someone I can see as my equal, but will still respect me as the man at the end of the day.
    According to the gender rolls in today’s society and the way we are raised to perceive these gender rolls touches base on another reason a women might say she wants one thing but subconsciously really wants the opposite.

    • Well, the higher you go up the evolutionary ladder the less instinctual we are. And confidence isn’t the same thing as dominance. One is self-empowered, the other is having power over others. In our culture both men and women tend to prefer partners who are confident. You don’t find that in all cultures, so it’s not instinctual. And while women often like to have sex with what you might call Alphas, they tend to want to marry betas. I’ll be writing more on that later.

      Here’s a critique of evolutionary psychology, by the way. Charles Darwin, who founded evolutionary biology and who got the ball rolling on evolutionary psychology, didn’t always agree with the latter:

      Are Women Naturally Monogamous?

  30. Great post…and oh so true 🙂

  31. I completely agree with this. Confidence is attractive in others because it convinces one that they know how to handle themselves. Someone who is confident in their charm and flirts a lot is more likely to get people to date them. For example if someone is confident in their driving skills they will have the confidence to drive more and therefore become better. If someone isn’t confident in their driving skills, they might not want to drive themselves or others and therefore won’t get practice. Because they haven’t practiced this skill, they won’t be as good at it and it is more likely they won’t do well. One thing that wasn’t mentioned is that machiavellianism is attractive because there is a level of intelligence necessary to be able to be manipulative and persuasive. Intelligence is seen as attractive because IQ is genetic and because of our want to reproduce with people who will help us have “better” offspring is ingrained in our minds. Because we want our offspring to be more intelligent, we are attracted to people that are intelligent because it will affect the offspring. Thank you so much for posting this, it was a very interesting read!

    • You are very welcome!

    • “Intelligence is seen as attractive because, IQ is genetic and because of our want to reproduce with people who will help us have “better” offspring it is ingrained into our minds.”

      I agree with this 100%
      and that confidence is key…

  32. Dang. I could have used this essay 4o years ago. All I needed was a hair and fashion consultant. 😉 Alice

Thoughts? (Comments will appear after moderation)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: